Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute


  • Prof Russell Foster

    University of Oxford

Project summary

Science Strategic Award 

Sleeping Sense is a public engagement project in collaboration with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in three primary schools and two secondary schools in Oxfordshire. It will demonstrate the creative nature of science and the rigour involved in music, and it will show that science and the arts can have a lot in common.

School children will be informed about the principles of sleep and circadian neuroscience through talks and workshops coordinated by Dr Chris Harvey and delivered by a team of sleep scientists. Alongside this, members of the orchestra will teach basic concepts of composition, using the scientific principles as inspiration for the music. Pupils will gather data about their own sleep and how it affects their performance measured in reaction times, and design their own experiments to assess what other factors might play a role in this. The project will culminate in a public event at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford, where scientists will discuss sleep and present the pupils’ data, and the orchestra will play pieces composed by the pupils. 

Sleeping Sense at the Sheldonian Theatre - watch a short video

This grant was awarded under the scheme's previous name of Provision for Public Engagement.